A Secret Essay: Poverty Is Not A Secret

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Poverty is not a secret. People stand on the side of the road holding signs declaring their poverty. Commercials and PBS stations remind us of the suffering of poor countries around the world. Even our parents chastise us for not eating all our dinner and tell us of the starving children in Africa who would do just about anything for a meal like this. So why haven’t we solved world hunger yet? The simple answer is that people cannot agree on how to go about it. Some appeal that we follow the direction of more virtuous individuals then ourselves, others believe monetary donations is the solution, while others still believe that doing nothing is the answer. Authors Gustavo Gutierrez, Peter Singer, and Garrett Hardin share different opinions on…show more content…
Believing that people have a duty to stop the suffering and death of those facing starvation, by donating a minimum of two hundred dollars a month to overseas aid Charites. Singer presents a choice. Either contribute to the relief of others or live in luxury knowing that a lives are being lost. Singer is adamant that acts should be judged according to their consequences. For example, “…if the upshot of the American 's failure to donate the money is that one more kid dies on the streets of a Brazilian city, then it is, in some sense, just as bad as selling the kid to the organ peddlers” (Singer). Since the outcome is the same for both situations, Singer feels that both are mutually responsible for the death of the child. He reasons that for most Americans, donating a few hundred dollars a month is a small sacrifice compared to the benefit that two hundred dollars would give to an ill child. Yet, Singer does not stop there. Americans are use to a certain standard of living. Still, Singer deems all excess to our necessities should be given up and traded for the relief of starving people in other countries, “In the world as it is now, I can see no escape from the conclusion that each one of us with wealth surplus to his or her essential needs should be giving most of it to help people suffering from poverty so dire as to be life-threatening. That 's right” (Singer). As stated in the…show more content…
Like Hardin, I believe that it is important to focus on our countries needs first. There are poor, illiterate, and suffering people in every state of the Union. The welfare system is over run and understaffed. Taxpayer money would be better spent levitating the burden of social workers through hiring more staff members than suppling the world food bank. Not until we fix our own problems can we expect to fix the world’s problems. Similar to Singer’s idea of giving surplus to the needy, I believe that spare money as well as time and skills should be donated to the poor. Not everyone is willing to give an equal amount, but if people were to just give what they were inclined to, numerous individuals could be helped. For instance, Joe is a wealthy businessman, Harry is retired and on a fixed income, and Tom is a young high school teacher. Whereas giving two hundred dollars a month is no problem for Joe it would be a much more significant burden on Harry and Tom. Therefore, they can aid in other ways. Tom could donate old clothes and furniture to charities. Harry could volunteer his time to help teach English as a second language, helping people get jobs. All forms of generosity help the needy. Above all, I agree with Gutierrez that people must be treated with dignity. Many homeless and needy people are in their situations because of one hardship after another. In

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